Port of Long Beach Ending COVID-19 Vaccination Program for Seafarers
The Port of Long Beach said it is ending its COVID-19 vaccination program for seafarers working on ships calling in the San Pedro Bay after providing nearly 12,000 shots.
The program has been operated since Spring 2021 by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the Port and the National Guard. It offered free, onboard COVID-19 vaccinations for any cargo ships’ crews berthing in San Pedro Bay, including both the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles.
During the program’s year and a half run, 11,766 crew members on 1,275 ships voluntarily received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at no charge. In the Port of Long Beach alone, 5,971 crew members on 684 ships received vaccines.
The program is now set to come to an end on December 31.
“We are proud to have sponsored free vaccines for sailors visiting the port. The Port is about more than just moving cargo, it’s about the people who move the cargo and keeping them healthy and safe,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We’d also like to thank our Port of Long Beach staff, the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, the Long Beach Fire Department and former Mayor and Congressman-elect Robert Garcia for the collaboration and leadership on the ship vaccination program.”
“We are so pleased to have vaccinated so many international seafarers, many of whom had no opportunity to be vaccinated in their home countries,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “The Long Beach community – the Port, the City, terminal operators and dockworkers – were able to help mariners coming to both our Port and the Port of Los Angeles. Together, we had a global impact in fighting the spread of COVID.”
The ending of the program comes as a wave of COVID-19 sweeps across China after the country lifted its strict zero-Covid policy.
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